Urgent Appeal To Stop Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lionel Galway From Selling Stolen Benin Mask For £5 Million In London

Benin Ivory Mask
By Kayode Ogundamisi

Please sign the petition attached  to stop the sale of a 16th century ivory mask stolen from Benin, (currently in Edo state, Nigeria) by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lionel Galway . The Benin ivory mask is about to be auctioned for  £5 Million at the Sotheby's in London.

Petition link http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/benin_mask/
 
 
 STOLEN OUT OF AFRICA: A 16th century ivory mask looted by the British during an invasion of Benin in West Africa (Nigeria) in 1897 is set to go for £ 5 Million at auction at Sotheby's ( Phone :+44 (0) 20 7293 5000) in London . It was kept by the family of British commissioner Lt Col Henry Galway and recently resurfaced

Urgent Appeal: Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lionel Galway was a British commissioner in colonial Nigeria. During the invasion he stole a 16th century Ivory mask from Benin City. His family is now putting the stolen Ivory for sale for £5 Million at Sotheby’s in London. We urgently require a UK based Nigerian lawyer to get injunction against the sale. Please e mail odamisi2000@yahoo.com or BB 21659292 . For several Years the British claimed they do not know about the mask only for the mask to resurface in the family home of Henry Galway and rather than get the mask back they are putting it for sale.

Kayode Ogundamisi
The Thief Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lionel Galway

The 'Gallwey Treaty', although it was never signed, became the legal basis for British invasion, occupation, and looting, culminating in the savage Benin Expedition of 1897, which destroyed the Kingdom of Benin. Galway was often mentioned in dispatches during this time, and was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Order (1896), appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1899) and promotion to major (1897).
Wikipedia

URGENT ACTION PHONE THE VENUE OF THE SALE ASKING THEM NOT TO SELL THE STOLEN MASK
SOTHEBY'S LONDON

Telephone and ask to be passed on to the African Arts Department.

Phone service available Monday to Friday, 8.30 am – 11 pm GMT (3.30 am – 6 pm EST)Phone service available Monday to Friday, 8.30 am – 11 pm GMT (3.30 am – 6 pm EST) andSaturday 2.00 pm – 11 pm GMT (9.00 am – 6 pm EST).

From the UK:+44 (0) 20 7293 5000

From the US:+1 212 606 7000

Fax (from all locations)+44 (0) 20 7293 6555

By MailSotheby's1334 York AvenueNew York, NY 10021

AS ADVERTISED BY THE GALLERY

Ivory pendant mask, Edo people, Kingdom of Benin, Nigeria. Estimate: £3,500,000-4,500,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
LONDON.- On 17th February 2011, Sotheby’s will sell a rare, newly re-discovered, 16th century ivory pendant mask depicting the head of the Queen mother from the Edo peoples, Kingdom of Benin in Nigeria along with five other rare works from Benin collected at the same time.

Only four other historical ivory pendant masks with related iconography of this age and quality are known – all of which are housed in major museums around the world1. All of the ivory masks are widely recognized for the quality of their craftsmanship, for the enormous scale of Benin’s artistic achievement and for their importance in the field of African art. Produced for the Oba (or King) of Benin, these ivory pendant masks are testament to the Kingdom of Benin’s golden age when the kingdom flourished economically, politically and artistically.

The masks rank among the most iconic works of art to have been created in Africa. The mask to be sold at Sotheby’s in February is estimated at £3.5-4.5* million. It had been on public view in 1947 as part of a loan exhibition at the Berkeley Galleries in London entitled ‘Ancient Benin’, and then again in 1951 in ‘Traditional Sculpture from the Colonies’ at the Arts Gallery of the Imperial Institute in London.

The mask and the five other Benin objects will be sold by the descendants of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Lionel Gallwey (in 1913 he changed his name to Galway) who was appointed deputy commissioner and vice-consul in the newly established Oil Rivers Protectorate (later the Niger Coast Protectorate) in 1891. He remained in Nigeria until 1902 and participated in the British Government’s “Punitive Expedition” of 1897 against Benin City. The faces of the five known pendant masks have been interpreted widely by scholars of Benin art as that of Idia, the first Queen Mother of Benin.

The mother of the Oba Esigie (c. 1504 – 1550), Idia was granted the title of Iyoba (Queen Mother) by Esigie in recognition of her help and counsel during his military campaigns. Idia remains a celebrated figure in Benin, known as the ‘only woman who went to war’. The masks were created at least in part as objects of veneration. The worn and honey-coloured surface of the offered mask attests to years of rubbing with palm oil, and surface as well as the style of carving is most similar to the example in The Seattle Art Museum.

The mask comes to auction together with: a highly important carved tusk made with a group of other similarly carved tusks for the altar of an Oba who lived in the 18th century. The imagery presented depicts emblems of power and strength which are related to the life of the Oba himself. The iconography is specific, and can be seen repeated across many arts forms in Benin, including the well-documented bronze plaques. The collection also includes two richly carved ivory armlets which incorporate many of the panoply of motifs used by the artists of the Igbesanmwan, the Royal Guild of ivory carvers.

As with most ivory carvings, these were more than likely made for an Oba, as he would have had complete control over the production of works of art made from precious ivory. Also in the collection is a rare bronze armlet, cast with Portuguese figures in an openwork motif. The earliest appearance of the Portuguese in plaques and free-standing figures and bracelets in the 16th and 17th century was undoubtedly calculated by the Benin to add considerable prestige to the Oba and his courts demonstrating that his power extended beyond the confines of his own people.

Finally, the collection includes a very rare bronze sculpture of a type historically identified as tusk stands. The twisted and hollowed form of this stand suggests it served the same function as the more familiar bronze commemorative heads, as a stand for a carved ivory tusk on an altar created to honour a former ruler.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium
http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=43553
 

Comments
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@ Emancipated girl

Actually, what I find is that people that do not care about things of national pride are the ones that do not care about the ordinary citizens of Nigeria.

The leaders and political elite do not care about anything that does not win them votes or involves the award of contracts. They are the ones that loot the commonwealth that should be used to cater for the por cildren you speak about,

Its the ones that champion the causes of the ordinary citizens that you find fighting for the nation's pride. 

The sad part is there are

The sad part is there are children starving and being abused at this very hour in Nigeria by Nigerians. NOBODY gives a rats ass, yet people are pledging blood and sweat over a frikking mask that Nigerians didn't care about until they heard it was worth 4.5mil and that it was in the hands of the British. Suddenly passion has re-awakened!! Long live humanity and may the children in Nigeria today have genuine integrity and be smatter than the young and old adults in Nigeria today, blinded by self-righteousness and misplaced value!

SHAME TO THE DRAGON.... SHE

SHAME TO THE DRAGON.... SHE KNOWS HERSELF SINCE SHE CAN REWARD A THIEF. THE DEVIL HAS COME TO STEAL AND DESTROY. GALWAY THE THIEF was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Order (1896), appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1899) and promotion to major (1897).
THE IDIOT THAT REWARDED HIM IS A BIGGER THIEF..
OSAMA BOMB BRITAIN NOW.

OUR TREASURE.

DO U SEE ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE MUST CRUMBLE DOWN YOUR ECONOMY? I AM TALKING OF YOU THE BRITISH THAT WANTS TO KEEP OUR QUEEN MOTHERS PORTRAIT AND SELL IT AS AUCTION... NO SHAKING. THANK GOD YOU PEOPLE ARE GREEDY AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO STEAL... YOU MUST ENTER OUR TRAP. IT MAKES ME LAUGH THAT THE FAMILY OF Lt-Col Henry Lionel Galway ARE THIEVES. BECAUSE A DOG CAN NOT GIVE BIRTH TO A SNAKE. ANTI TERRORIST BEWARE... MR AMERICA.. TELL OBAMA TO ACT ON THIS.

Don't give up the fight

@Afropolis, so you would not fight for your right as an African to stop the thieves? Let the battle begin with a lawsuit. If we lose the case, then we can return to "Akata" and raise money to buy the artefacts like the Chinese people bought theirs.

i cannot blame you

May be u told no lies about our president and high commissioner, but u forgot to add that dynasty and people have never been the same. U act as if u have moral justification to call Nigerians names when one or two people stray to misbehave. When it comes to your people u shift from moral ground to legal or human(expedient) grounds. Common on, ur forefathers plundered our land because they were thieves. What do you call unprovoked war?
Make no mistake about it, if this artifact is sold your children will pay part of the money when they grow. I assure u. How? find me to find out?

The Mask

Afropolis. You are one stupid, retarded, naive and shameless individual. That's all I can say now because I can't give more time than this to an imbecile.

Mask

Let the British keep the mask if the must. Y r we after an old mask that the British already have, when just recently,we are taking to them our own citizens so that the help us imprison them. Let them keep it.
We forget that these same British people always protect their own while we push our things to them to "jail" for us. When two British girls were recently caught for drugs in Ghana, the British begged and took them away. When, the other lady,Orobator, was arrested in far away land, they begged and took her away. But we, no. We will extradict our citizen to go languish in their cells. So, why are we bothered about an old mask?
Even if we say the person or people stole money from Nigeria, when Umaru Dikko "stole" our money, wasnt it the U.K. that granted him assylum? When the Thailand P.M. ran away with their money from Thailand, wasnt the U.K. his first port of call?
When these government officials were carrying the money there, why didnt they raise alarm then? Or is it true they only select the people they prosecute that have fallen out of favour with the Government of the day?
Make una sell wetin una wan sell. Animals

This is the same treacherous

This is the same treacherous ways Itsekiris have been employing all these years to annhilate their neighbours and claim ownweship of Warri.The same Dore Numa who is venerated by this treacherous people was an evil man whose thirst for power was so bad that he betrayed his own people including Nana because he simply wanted to be sole British agent.The title of Olu Of Warri must be changed to Olu Of Itsekiri as all history books clearly show there was never an Olu of Warri, being a creation by Awolowo to appease the Itsekiris due to their support for him.That title must be changed or else the Oroesen Of Okere -Urhobo, Warri will soon be known as Ovie of Warri.Then eventually an Ijaw King will be named as well for Warri to balance the equation.This treachery of claiming Warri is so grand but unfortunately the Olu Of Itsekiri is a tenant as his palace is built in Urhobo land, please read the link :
http://www.waado.org/Warri/Itsekiri_vs_Urhobo_Okere.html

British Government must be ready for legal face-off

Kayode thank you so much for this publication, I read something similar to this sometime in 2009 written by one Emmanuel Ajibulu, but I hope he is not the same Ajibulu who is always standing in defense for Fani Kayode in the print & cyber media, even if he was I think he did well this time around.

Well I hope this unrepentant invaders will make amends otherwise those of us in diaspora will press severe legal charges on them. This extortion must stop by fire by force African must be liberated from the Western shackles in all spheres of life.

http://www.modernghana.com/news/216977/1/artefacts-british-museum-should...

Wow, what shockingly

Wow, what shockingly uneffective bandwagon to jump on. LOL!

By the way, when they say 'stolen out of africa', I hope you and your potential lawyers have a solid evidence that will hold up in court?

Amaka izu, you took the words

Amaka izu, you took the words right out of my mouth. I actually kmt (kissed my teeth) when I saw the news. My questions were:

- were the people of Edo looking for the mask in the first place?
- what will happen if they send it back? someone else will just sell off to the highest bidder, that is the Nigerian way. If it was Benin (the country outside Nigeria), I would have been in support.
- this is not news as the sale was publicized as well as how the mask was acquired
- surely there were thousands of masks, are they searching for the rest too?
- the mask is probably safer where it is to be honest...can you imagine it being taken back to Nigeria and families start to come out of the wood-works trying to claim the mask and kill each other?
- Like Amaka says, this is the least of Nigeria's problems, seriously! And you saharareporters, please find something more revolutionary to report

KMT!

MIXED FEELINGS

Yes, it would be nice to protest against its sale and nicer still to be returned to its rightful owner-kingdom-country. But nicest would be if Benin and Nigeria can savely keep it. Last time I was in Benin museum it was littered by so-called guards guarding what's left for the natives to steal and sell themselves. Almost a third of the artifacts that were there two decades ago were already stolen by/through our own brothers! Ditto for Ile-Ife and Lagos museums. And for those bank-bellied and rotund-cheeked custom personnel at the ports and crosses, they are only uselessly interested in their share of the loots! So, where do we go finally? GOD GIVE US TRUE LEADERS.

Ugorji, what is ur level of

Ugorji, what is ur level of education, have u heard or read of the The Great Benin Kingdom? Go and look for any book on west Africa History if u r looking for evidence.

return the mask and THEN WHAT?

why are we suddenly worried about a mask, yes i agree it is a national treasure. So what would happen when the mask is returned? Whose house or villa will it disappear to? What about the stolen billions from the NATIONAL TREASURY? Which layer has the guts to attack the politicians, old and new? For crying out loud, we have to look for a place we can keep the mask, once the country IS FREE FROM CORRUPTION, else from the airport a 17th century artifact will definitely disappear.
LETS RECOVER THE STOLEN TREASURE FROM WITHIN,and leave the mask for safe keeping for now.

If the Ethiopians could have

If the Ethiopians could have their obelisk that was stolen by Musolini the Italian returned back to them, then returning these artifacts back to the palace of Benin kingdom or the museum in Nigeria is a task that must be accomplished.I stand ready to play my part in this struggle

Stolen Benin Mask For £5 Million In London

This is surely one of the stolen Arts of Benin that the late member of Parliament BENNY GRANT MP(UK) lead a protest march to the British Museum inconjuction with the Edo communuty UK & Ireland. That all stolen Arts to be returned. Unfortunately when he died, we lost all contact with the establishment. The welsh and Scotish museum did promise to return theirs only if they are kept in a secured place for people to view.
The Federal Government should do some thing about this now before it goes missing again

ANCIENT BENIN KINGDOM IVORY MASK MUST RETURN!

 
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irokoafrika@yahoo.com

Sakhos Silas Ejiofoh

Wiesbaden Germany

 

Though it is true that some of our corrupt leaders both past and present have wasted our resources and have stolen money 1000 times more than this ancient Benin Ivory Mask, nevertheless, this artefact has to be returned to the country.

 

This ancient work of art worth more than money, it’s a heritage and largely what makes the Edo people of Nigeria who they are. It is their identity!

 

Having said this, it does not matter how long and under which condition the art work left ancient Benin kingdom. The Edo government headed by Oshiomhole with the support of the federal government of Nigeria must work together with the British government to return the artefact to the Benin museum. Even if it means paying compensation to wherever necessary, but let it be that this ancient important work of art returns to the land.

 

No serious government would allow its art and culture to be toyed with or remained in foreign land.  For example the Ethiopian government worked together with the Italian Government to get the Italians returned to Ethiopia all their ancient artwork including the revered and mysterious granite obelisks of AXUM when Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1937

 

The Obelisk of Axum is over 1,7000 years old. The Italians mounted it in a square in their nations capital Rome to beautify it and named the square ministry for `ITALIAN AFRIKA`

Though it cost the government millions of dollars but there was so much joy all over Ethiopia the very day Obelisk returned after 68 years in exile in Italy.

 

I suggest our government should borrow a leave from their Ethiopian African brothers!

 

God Bless Nigeria, God Bless Afrika!

 

 

Stolen Benin Mask For £5 Million In London

This is surely one of the stolen Arts of Benin that the late member of Parliament BENNY GRANT MP (UK) lead a protest march to the British Museum inconjuction with the Edo communuty UK & Ireland. That all stolen Arts to be returned. Unfortunately when he died, we lost all contact with the establishment. The welsh and Scotish museum did promise to return theirs only if they are kept in a secured place for people to view.
The Federal Government should do some thing about this now before it goes missing again.

ANCIENT BENIN KINGDOM IVORY MASK MUST RETURN!

irokoafrika@yahoo.com
Wiesbaden Germany

Though it is true that some of our corrupt leaders both past and present have wasted our resources and have stolen money 1000 times more than this ancient Benin Ivory Mask, nevertheless, this artefact has to be returned to the country.

This ancient work of art worth more than money, it’s a heritage and largely what makes the Edo people of Nigeria who they are. It is their identity!

Having said this, it does not matter how long and under which condition the art work left ancient Benin kingdom. The Edo government headed by Oshiomhole with the support of the federal government of Nigeria must work together with the British government to return the artefact to the Benin museum. Even if it means paying compensation to wherever necessary, but let it be that this ancient important work of art returns to the land.

No serious government would allow its art and culture to be toyed with or remained in foreign land. For example the Ethiopian government worked together with the Italian Government to get the Italians returned to Ethiopia all their ancient artwork including the revered and mysterious granite obelisks of AXUM when Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1937

The Obelisk of Axum is over 1,7000 years old. The Italians mounted it in a square in their nations capital Rome to beautify it and named the square ministry for `ITALIAN AFRIKA`
Though it cost the government millions of dollars but there was so much joy all over Ethiopia the very
day Obelisk returned after 68 years in exile in Italy.

I suggest our government should borrow a leave from their Ethiopian African brothers!

God Bless Nigeria, God Bless Afrika!

irokoafrika@yahoo.com

You don`t need a Dictionary

You don`t need a Dictionary to know your history especial AFRICAN history,if you are an AFRICAN, so lets not talk much ,because a lot is coming out to the open now.WE are the new Generation ,Slavery and Racism has expired its out of fashion, this is 21st century.Here is a piece of information for you. (Galway was often mentioned in dispatches during this time, and was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Order (1896), appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1899) and promotion to major (1897).
Wikipedia.)

Stolen Mask From AFRICA

Stupid idiot ,you don`t have a back ground history ,you are just a thing dependind on bennefits, yoU grown up from slave work now you boosting, get a life coz being a British you should know your history, History of this country is the same as American ,you survive because of things stolen from Africa,you got Nothing in England ,even food you import from abroad,and stolen properties from Africa ,IDIOT GET A LIFE YOURSELF. (Galway was often mentioned in dispatches during this time, and was rewarded with the Distinguished Service Order (1896), appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (1899) and promotion to major (1897).
Wikipedia)

Save our Heritage

Too Bad let us save our heritage and history by taking all appropriate action to stop this sale.The Palace of the Oba should get involed and also the FGN.

Nigerians should lead a peaceful protest now to downing street.

Deba ....Benin.

Benin Mask

We must not allow this sales to happen, we will fight it tooth and nail. The man who want to sale this mask is not the rightful owner. The Mask belong to the palace of the Oba (king) of Benin empire. He must be asked to explain how the mask get to his possession. The world must not encourage the sales of stolen art work, paints and pictures or photographs.

I hereby call on the British government, The Nigeria government, Edo state government and all meanings Nigerian to rise up against this unacceptable sales of stolen or looting properties.

Benin Mask

We must not allow this sales to happen, we will fight it tooth and nail. The man who want to sale this mask is not the rightful owner. The Mask belong to the palace of the Oba (king) of Benin empire. He must be asked to explain how the mask get to his possession. The world must not encourage the sales of stolen art work, paints and pictures or photographs.

I hereby call on the British government, The Nigeria government, Edo state government and all meanings Nigerian to rise up against this unacceptable sales of stolen or looting properties.

5 Million Smackers

Now we know it is worth a whooping 5 milla, assuming the Lt gives it back to Nigeria, how are we sure it wont disappear again and sold on the black market?

I think we should just sell it, put the proceeds in a third party maintained education trust fund for the benefit of the indegenes of Benin.

I just left a Message of protest on their Answering Service

I just left a protest message on their telephone answering service. I encourage everyone to do the same.

Court Injunction

In this part of the world, there are procedures. Certainly, such procedures extends to and perhaps mandatory in relation to this subject-matter. Reason being that the keeper has acquired ownership of the said mask pursuant to the length of years in possession. Not just that, he has further improved the value.

I am a solicitor and I specialise in civil and criminal litigation. I will only require authorisation and instruction from the historical owners to obtain injunction at the Royal Court of Justice.

I am willing and ready to get to work.

are you alright at all or you

are you alright at all or you just being naive? p/l return that historical artifact back to where it belongs,taken what did not belong to you in any shapes or forms is regarded as stolen. we do not need Britain to help us keep it and they should return it to the owner.

This petition is preposterous

This petition is preposterous. Your appeal should be to raise funds to acquire it. And when you acquire it you then have to decide what to with it. Personally, I think it should go back to Benin City, to the palace, to the Oba. But man, GBP5million on a shrine. Wow!